This is in response to the anonymous Catholic writer of "Losing My Religion," who is considering staying away from church in response to Bishop Robert Morlino's approach to complaints from Platteville parishioners about their priests (Tell All, 5/25/2012).
1) You need not like the bishop. It's that simple. We're humans, with emotions, prejudices, likes and dislikes. But whether you like the bishop or not should have absolutely zero bearing on your catholic (as in "universal") and Catholic (as in the Church) faith in Jesus Christ. The bishop is a human being doing a very difficult job. He's not going to please everybody, and every now and again he's going to anger quite a few people. That's comes with the territory.
2) Reread the bishop's letter to St. Mary's in Platteville. He did not level fault at the parishioners, either directly or by implication. What he did do was to ask for specific instances where the priests deviated from Catholic teaching. Hearing none, throwing the Spanish priests under the bus must not have struck him as a good idea.
3) The "warning" referenced in the bishop's letter was not aimed at anyone lodging open complaints to the bishop. The warning shot was issued at those who were potentially slandering the priests. The writer must acknowledge that the turn of events in Platteville has not been easy on the priests either. The writer must also acknowledge that not all of the words spoken in opposition to the priests were spoken in charity. The bishop's letter was crystal clear: My door is open to anybody who has a valid complaint against the priests. But I won't stand idly by if their motives and their fidelity to Catholic teaching are openly and falsely challenged.
4) There should be no guilt associated with an emotion; emotions simply arrive unbidden. It's what you do in response to the emotion that counts. The emotion should not keep you away from church. That's frankly immature in that you're allowing your emotion to dominate your intellect. Your faith rests in Jesus Christ, who will see after his Church long after the whole lot of us, Bishop Morlino and the Spanish priests included, have passed from this world.
Joe Leone, Brooklyn, Wis.